POZ Review: Nick Santino - Big Skies

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 10, 2014

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by Ali Killian, edited by Erik van Rheenen

There has been a burst of folk music infiltrating our scene. Though I say ‘infiltrating,’ let me end that sentence with in a great way. From bands such as The Hundred Acre Woods straight up combining punk and folk, to The Wonder Years’ Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s recently announced side project Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, which has a folkier twinge behind Campbell’s signature coarse vocals, more and more folk and indie-folk-inspired side projects and groups are popping up with connections in the pop-punk/pop-rock world.
 
And Nick Santino with his solo debut Big Skies is no different.
 
That’s the main issue I have with the former A Rocket To The Moon vocalist’s album: It’s utterly plain. Sure, it’s fun to listen to catchy hooks and Santino singing a bit deeper than we’re used to (though the only ARRTM release I know nearly front-to-back is 2009’s On Your Side), Big Skies just doesn’t strike me in any particular way.
 
I love how both The Hundred Acre Woods and Aaron West make folk sound different — harder and rougher while still retaining catchy, fingerpicking guitar riffs or inducing folksy toe tapping upon listening. Considering Santino’s musical background, I wouldn’t expect him to produce a harder sound, but folk doesn’t have to be punk-inspired to be different; it just has to have that something. Some sound or way with words that makes the listener personally connect to the album. Otherwise, like most cookie-cutter music, it’s not enjoyable to listen to. I didn’t feel that connection with Big Skies.

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‘Back To Where I’m From,’ A Documentary From Nick Santino

by Zack Zarrillo - May 27, 2014

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Nick Santino has released a new documentary called Back To Where I’m From. Watch the video below after the jump. 

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POZ Video Premiere: Nick Santino - “Keep On Going”

by Zack Zarrillo - May 8, 2014

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Nick Santino will be releasing Big Skies via EightyOneTwentyThree on May 27th. The solo album is quickly approaching, and PropertyOfZack is very excited to be debuting a new live video for a track on the album called “Keep On Going.” Pre-order the record here and watch the video below!

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The Maine, ARTTM, This Century Members Starts Eagles In Drag Side-Project

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 25, 2014

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John O’Callaghan of The Maine, Eric Halvorsen of A Rocket To The Moon, and Ryan Gose of This Century have a new side-project called Eagles In Drag. Stream a new EP from the band and check out more details below after the jump.

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8123 Single Series: Nick Santino Releases Song Co-Written By John O’Callaghan

by Zack Zarrillo - Feb 14, 2014

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8123 are launching a new Single Series and it is debuting with Nick Santino & The Northern Wind. “Long Way Home” was also co-written by John O’Callaghan of The Maine. Stream the song below after the jump.

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POZ Discussion: Memorial Service - Bands Who Broke Up In 2013

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 10, 2013

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2013 was a year filled with great music, but also one filled with an unfortunate amount of breakups. PropertyOfZack team members wanted to honor many of the fallen bands we love with a new Discussion called Memorial Service - Bands Who Broke Up In 2013. Check out our fallen favorites below and feel free to reblog with some of your most missed  bands as well!

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POZ Interview: Nick Santino And The Northern Wind

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 5, 2013

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Nick Santino has been working at full force ever since A Rocket To The Moon came to an end, and PropertyOfZack recently spoke with the singer for a new interview. We chatted with Nick about starting over with The Northern Wind, what it’s been like transitioning from Rocket to his new project, more music in the future, and much more. Check out the interview below! 

So you’ve officially begun your solo career as Nick Santino and The Northern Wind. Just to start, why add the tagline to the end of your name? Did you want it to be less of a solo effort and feel more like a full thing, or what?
I wanted to do just my name, obviously Nick Santino, but I thought adding a cool thing – a moniker at the end was something a bit different. Like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Butch Walker and The Black Widows or Ryan Adams and The Cardinals. I hope that at some point I’ll start touring with a backing band. I don’t know, I think the Northern Wind will be cool because it’s both a solo name, Nick Santino, and an artist name, The Northern Wind. I think it’s a cool name that means something as well – I’m obviously a northern boy. I’m from Boston, but the kind of music that I play is sort of like a southern thing, a country kind of alt sound. I don’t usually hear “Southern Wind” being thrown around. I think “The Northern Wind” kind of gives it that feeling of a kind of a folky thing. It’s was just kind of a name I’ve been having and it’s been sitting in my phone for three years, in my notes. So I was like, if I’m can to use it, I’m going to use it. 

You released a first EP a few months after A Rocket To The Moon sort of announced they were going to be breaking up. When were those songs first recorded?
I recorded them at the beginning of this year. A lot of them have been written – they’re like three or four years old now. They’re just kind of songs that I’ve been sitting on that I recorded or wrote a while ago or years ago, and never did anything with because they weren’t really the A Rocket [To The Moon] sound, they were just my own songs that I wrote myself and choose a different sound. So we could never use them, and not everybody was into them. So now that I am able to release music on my own and under my own name, I kind of wanted to put the songs up that I like and that I want to do. So I dug up all the old songs from my files on my desktop – my Mac – and kind of dusted them off and gave them a little update and re-recorded them. And I think they’re pretty cool. They’re a couple of years old which is kind of sweet.

I think it’s interesting to step back and realize that the last A Rocket To The Moon record was delayed a full year so I’m sure you just had a ton of time to write new music. 
Pretty much. All of the songs were written in down time from Rocket pretty much – when I’m home for breaks and yeah that whole weird gap. I just kind of sat there in the house writing songs. Now I can actually use them, which is cool. 

So I’m sure you have a ton. Is that why you decided to release this second EP so soon? Because there might be a ton of recorded music?
Yeah. That and I think that Rocket fans – I mean we were signed. So we couldn’t put out music whenever we wanted to, we had to put out music when the label said it was okay. We really didn’t get to put out that much music over the course of five years that we were a band. It’s kind of stupid. The whole point that we were in a band is to play music but we could only play music when we’re allowed to play music? And allowed to make music? So over the course of five years we’ve put out two full lengths. That’s pathetic. And it was all because of the music business and everything. So I kind of want to show those fans and the people that may be skeptical of switching over from Rocket to me or anything – I kind of want to show them that I’m going to be putting out music as often as I can. You know what I mean? It’s something that they maybe wish that Rocket would have done. But now they can finally see that because I’m going to do it whenever I can. So I put out two EPs in the course of like 2 months. That’s already more than Rocket put out in the course of two months. Now there’s just a freedom to release music. So I just want people to know that. If they’re like “Oh. Nick’s doing a solo thing. I don’t really want to go listen to it because I’m still hung up on Rocket.” Yeah I’m doing a solo thing, but there’s going to be a lot more music than Rocket has ever released. 

More than anything, is it just kind of liberating? I know that how Rocket came to an end wasn’t how anyone would have wanted because of how the music industry works, unfortunately. So does it liberate you as an artist but also give a “screw you” to the traditional music industry?
Exactly. Maybe I’m not going to be selling out Madison Square Garden next weekend or anything, but I’m happy to be releasing music whenever I can without having anybody breathing down my neck. 

So you’re going out on your first solo tour in two days I think, with This Century. Obviously, you’ve toured all of these cities before with rocket, but this is going to be your first time on your own. Is that as equally exciting as it is nerve-racking? 
Yeah, because I have fears and I have excitement. I’m excited to be getting out on the road. Like I don’t know what it’s like to tour without the other three guys. It’s going to be interesting to not have Halvo [Eric Halvorsen] joking around and all of the nonsense that goes on. But it will be cool because I feel like I can finally be myself and be a human being – like be my one-man show that I am. My concerns, obviously, are people will see me and an acoustic guitar – people not listening or paying attention because it’s just a dude with an acoustic guitar on stage. I’m hoping that it’s just not all people being like “Play Baby Blue Eyes! Play Dakota!” the whole time. It’s like, come on! You’ve heard those songs for the past five years. Let me try something different. 

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POZ Playlist: Nick Santino, This Century

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 13, 2013

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Nick Santino & The Northern Wind (formerly of A Rocket To The Moonwill be going out on a solo tour with This Century starting next week, and we’re excited to have both together for a new Playlist feature. Check out the Playlists below while listening to the songs on Spotify and reading everyone’s thoughts!


Ryan Adams - Sylvia Plath
This song is so creepily amazing. I’m in love with the lyrics and even though I have no idea what he is actually talking about, it’s one of the most beautiful Ryan Adams songs. 
Butch Walker - I’ve Been Waiting For This
I love everything butch makes and his newest EP “Going Home” is no exception. This song is so catchy and I love his production and drum sounds. 
Bob Dylan - Tomorrow is a Long Time
I don’t listen to a lot of Bob Dylan but this song is one of my favorites. The live version is the one I like most. Lyrics and melody are stunning. 
Dawes - A Little Bit Of Everything
I love the story this song tells. Some interesting lyrics that you wouldn’t normally hear but I love it. 
Jason Isbell - Elephant
Perfect lyrics. Sad song. But the lyrics are perfect. Such a good song. 
Jillette Johnson - Pauvre Coeur 
Jillette is a friend of mine and I’m insanely jealous of her song writing. Listen to this song and it will make you so inspired. Such a beautiful, sincere and soulful voice and the lyrics are incredible. 
Will Hoge - Strong
Incase you haven’t caught on yet, I’m a sucker for a good story. This song is no exception. Perfect song about a hardworking American man. Will Hoge is jus incredible. 
The Civil Wars - Same Old Same Old
I love sappy slow sad songs. This one is the definition of sappy, sad and slow. The civil wars are one of my favorites and this song shows why. 
Whiskeytown - What The Devil Wanted
Such an interesting creepy song. I love the production of this with the old creepy piano and the stereo panned vocals. Love me some Whiskeytown. 
The Silver Seas - The Country Life
I just love the sound of this record. This band has a cool to less sound and this song shows that.


TV On The Radio – Golden Age

On song that i like to think is reflecting on a possible golden age on the horizon which makes me super optimistic about music and always optimistic about this great band..their voices melt my mind
alt-J - Matilda
The first time I heard this it stopped me in my tracks for an entire week..it also helps that the video for the song includes odd face morphing that trips you out for a while…it also gets its story from the movie Leon which is about this assassin who saves this girl who’s parents die and is incredible in it’s own right but yeah, one of my favorite songs of the year.
Vampire Weekend – Ya Hey
Puts me in the best mood for some reason, most of their songs do but this one in particular…it gets a little bible-y but in a good way and i love getting lost in trying to interpret songs well beyond the simplicity that they probably are..this is a good song if you’re looking for that
Crocodiles – Endless Flowers
Everything about this song is pure teen dream enjoyment, feels
like your swimming in amazing sadness but the good kind (that makes sense in my head) anyways, its perfect in so many ways…just um…listen to it…you’ll get it
Paul McCartney – Ram On
My good friend Garrett Nickelsen turned me on to this gem of a record that everyone should give a good listen to called “Ram”, might be Mcartney’s best in my opinion…this particular song “Ram On” kills me every time I listen to it…so simple and yet so ahead of its time…get the whole damn record why dontcha!

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ex-ARTTM Frontman Nick Santino Announces Tour With This Century

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 11, 2013

Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon will be going out on a solo tour with This Century in the late-fall. Check out the dates below after the jump.

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ex-ARTTM Frontman Announces New EP

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 25, 2013

Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon will be releasing a new EP on October 22nd called The Ones You Meet Along The Way. Check out the artwork and track listing below after the jump.

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A Rocket To The Moon Frontman Posts Statement Following Band’s Final Show

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 2, 2013

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A Rocket To The Moon played their last show this weekend and are officially broken up. Check out a statement from frontman Nick Santino below after the jump.

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A Rocket To The Moon Are Officially Dead

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 1, 2013

A Rocket To The Moon just played their final show at the Sinclair in Massachusetts. You can stream the band’s last album, Wild & Free, below after the jump.

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ARTTM Frontman Releases Solo EP

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 31, 2013

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Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon has released his Going Home solo EP. Stream it below after the jump.

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Bad Motivation (Pre-ARTTM, Maine Emo Band) Song Surfaces From 2003

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 22, 2013

Before A Rocket To The Moon and The Maine existed, Eric Halvorsen and Jared Monaco were in an emo/pop-punk band called Bad Motivation. You can listen to a song called “Story of Us” from 2003 below after the jump. 

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A Rocket To The Moon Add One Last Final Show

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 18, 2013

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A Rocket To The Moon have added a second “final show” to their routing before they go on hiatus. Check out their last two dates below after the jump.

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